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Friday, November 28, 2008

The inportance of RSVP

It’s a reflection on today’s society that before sporting events the public address announcer has to request the crowd to please honor America by standing and "removing your hats" for the playing of our national anthem. There was a time when it wasn’t necessary to ask a crowd to do that but it was in another era when "respect" was a common word in everyone’s vocabulary. That’s not the case as much today in our cell phone, iPod, hurried up mentality world.

With Thanksgiving behind us, we now enter December with its multitude of holiday parties. It is a time when many invitations will request an RSVP. This is not a new practice but, strangely enough, according to Jill Haney of JH Consultants, about 30% of invitees do not RSVP as requested by invitations. As with the national anthem, an RSVP is a show of respect and a response should always be made to the inviter.

For anyone who is not clear about RSVP, it is a French expression ("respondez s’il vous plait") that simply means "respond please." If you receive an invitation, you are being asked to let the prospective host know if you will or will not attend the function. To not respond is very rude and is not an option. It is an insult to the inviter who thought enough of the importance of your attendance to invite you. Also, the number of RSVPs allows the host to make plans as far as drinks, food, and the size of the room for the party.

An RSVP should be made the day the invitation is received or, at the latest, one or two days later according to Haney. How hard can it be to make a simple two minute phone call to someone who thought enough of you to invite you to their party?

Many invitations these days are being sent with a "regrets only" request. That makes it a bit easier on the invitee as they are being asked to respond only if they can’t make it. Even if you receive this type of invitation, it is still a nice touch to call the inviter and tell them "Thank you."

The RSVP is nothing new to most people but if 30% are still not respecting the request it desires, the above explanation hopefully will remind them of its importance. By exhibiting some manners, it may get you invited to more parties too.

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